food

Christine Sarich – Hormone Disrupting Chemical Banned in EU Found in 50 Top US Snacks

April 15, 2015

A recent study by Harvard School of Public Health says a widely used chemical used in US food products causes fertility issues, yet it is still allowed to be used. While the US Food and Drug Administration declares this synthetic food additive is “generally recognized as safe, or GRAS,” the European Union’s food regulators outlawed it ever since scientists found it lowered sperm counts in rats. If lowered sperm count and reduced fertility through hormonal disruption isn’t exactly what you signed up for every time you eat one of 50 different snack foods like Sara Lee cinnamon rolls, Weight Watchers cakes, Cafe Valley muffins, or La Banderita corn tortillas, read on. This synthetic, estrogen-mimicking additive is already used in cosmetics, but now the Environmental Working Group has found it in over 50 different foods. Propyl Paraben is one of many common parabens which include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Parabens allow skin care products to survive for months or even years in your medicine cabinet, and now for food to last longer on shelves, and in transit. Read

Food, Farming and Climate Change: It’s Bigger than Everything Else – Ryan Zinn

April 14, 2015

Record-breaking heat waves, long-term drought, “100-year floods” in consecutive years, and increasingly extreme superstorms are becoming the new normal. The planet is now facing an unprecedented era of accelerating and intensifying global climate change, with negative impacts already being widely felt. While global climate change will impact nearly everyone and everything, the greatest impact is already being felt by farmers and anyone who eats food. When we think of climate change and global warming, visions of coal-fired power plants and solar panels come to mind. Policy discussions and personal action usually revolve around hybrid cars, energy-efficient homes and debates about the latest technological solutions. However, the global agriculture system is at the heart of both the problem and the solution. Industrial agriculture is a key driver in the generation of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, heavy machinery, monocultures, land change, deforestation, refrigeration, waste and transportation are all part of a food system that generates significant emissions and contributes greatly to global climate change. Industrial agricultural practices, from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to synthetic fertilizer-intensive corn and soy monocultures, genetically modified to tolerate huge amounts of herbicide, not only contribute considerable amounts of GHGs, but also underpin an inequitable

Officials Label ‘Healthy Eating’ As Newest ‘Eating Disorder’

April 14, 2015

Do you consider healthy, clean eating to be a priority in your life? According to the ‘psychiatric officials’ who want to add healthy eating to the extensive list of mental disorders, you have an eating disorder. ‘Orthorexia nervosa’ to be specific. We first told you about this back in February of this year, when major news outlets began pushing the term ‘orthorexia nervos’ non-stop in declaring healthy eating a mental disorder. The story, written by Jeffrey Jaxen for Natural Society, received over 57,000 shares on Facebook and several million viewers who could not believe the reality of the piece. Unfortunately for sane eaters who do place a priority on eating right, the story was entirely correct. And now, we are seeing the emergence of orthorexia nervos in the news once more. This time, we are being told it’s the newest ‘eating disorder’ that we could all be ‘suffering from’. Because if you don’t want to eat things like Monsanto’s cancer-linked chemicals, artificial additives, and high-fructose corn syrup, you must be crazy. The Daily Mail reports breaks down the latest declaration from ‘psychiatric officials’ who are heavily pushing the orthorexia nervos eating disorder: “Some clinicians argue orthorexia nervosa should be recognised as a separate eating disorder and have proposed

10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Local

April 13, 2015

Strolling of the Heifers has released the 2015 Locavore Index, which ranks the 50 states (and DC) in terms of their commitment to local foods. This is the fourth year the organization has produced the index. “The purpose of the Index is to stimulate efforts across the country to use more local food in homes, restaurants, schools and institutions,” said Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers. As part of their index this year, Strolling of the Heifers offers 10 reasons to increase the use of local foods, which, the nonprofit says, are better for consumers, better for growers and better for the environment. Here are the 10 reasons Strolling of the Heifers says you should eat more local food: Supports local farms: Buying local food keeps local farms healthy and creates local jobs at farms and in local food processing and distribution systems. Boosts local economy: Food dollars spent at local farms and food producers stay in the local economy, creating more jobs at other local businesses. Less travel: Local food travels much less distance to market than typical fresh or processed grocery store foods, therefore using less fuel and generating fewer greenhouse gases. Less waste: Because of the shorter distribution chains for local foods, less food is wasted in distribution, warehousing and merchandising. Read

The global south has free trade to thank for its obesity and diabetes epidemic

April 9, 2015

You wouldn’t think that free-trade deals could lead to a diabetes and obesity epidemic, but they have. Today, many countries in the global south are seeing an explosion of these afflictions – all because their governments welcomed in transnational food companies looking for new “growth markets” for poor quality, heavily processed or just plain junk food. For big conglomerates to increase their profits, they need to develop and sell products aimed at hundreds of millions of the world’s poor. Many of these people and communities still eat food that they produce themselves, or buy from informal markets that sell local produce. These local food systems and circuits are their livelihood for untold numbers of people. To reach these potential consumers, large food corporations are infiltrating, inundating and taking over traditional food distribution channels around the world, and replacing local foods with junk, often with the direct support of local governments. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to their success. The case of Mexico provides a stark picture of the consequences. Over the past two decades, the government of Mexico has signed more than a dozen free trade agreements and nearly 30 investment treaties that have opened up the countryside and the retail

8 Forgotten Survival Skills Your Great Grandparents Used Everyday

April 8, 2015

Our modern society is highly dependent upon the “system.” Not only do we rely upon utility services to bring us electricity, water and natural gas, but also on an incredibly complex supply chain which provides us with everything from food to computers. Without that supply chain, most of us wouldn’t know what to do. This situation is actually becoming worse, rather than better. When I compare my generation (I’m in my 50s) to that of my children, I see some striking differences. In my generation it was normal for a boy to grow up learning how to do a wide variety of trade skills from his father, and seemingly everyone knew how to do basic carpentry and mechanic work. But that’s no longer normal. If we extrapolate it back, we can see that my father’s generation knew even more – and my grandparent’s generation even more. Those older generations were much more closely tied to the roots of an agricultural society, where people were self-reliant. There are multiple skills they had which modern society no longer considers necessary. But if we were to have a breakdown in society, those skills which we never bothered to learn would become essential. Those

We are eating WHAT?

April 7, 2015

What if you took a spoonful of your morning cereal and had an allergic reaction or even felt tranquillized? But when you looked at the package labeling there were no ingredients that would seem to be red flags? Increasingly, thanks to an FDA loophole, food makers use additives and chemicals that they and not the FDA have declared “safe” and the ingredients do not appear on the labels. Sometimes the FDA does not even know they are added to the food products. For example, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council(NRDC), the bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant theobromine can be in beverages, chewing gum, tea, soy milk, gelatin, candy, yogurt and fruit smoothies with no mention on the label. The peanut-related legume sweet lupin can be in baked goods, dairy products, gelatin, meats, and candy with no mention on the label. The chemical epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may be found in teas, sport drinks and other beverages, says NRDC, with no mention on the label despite its links to leukemia. Nice. How did this happen? There has been a “growth in the marketplace of beverages and other conventional foods that contain novel substances, such as added botanical ingredients or their extracts,” says the FDA. “Some of

Food & Water Watch calls on FDA to declare GMO salmon unsafe to eat

April 6, 2015

Food & Water Watch filed two legal petitions today asking the FDA to evaluate AquaBounty’s (ABTX) genetically engineered salmon as a “food additive,” instead of as an animal drug, and to declare GMO salmon unsafe to eat based on the food additive review process. “It couldn’t be more clear to consumers that GMO salmon is a food, not a drug,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “It’s also clear that there are serious food safety concerns with this fish and major scientific gaps in FDA’s animal drug risk assessment. It’s time for FDA to step up and protect the health and welfare of American citizens rather than the economic interests of the biotechnology industry.” Food & Water Watch’s identical petitions filed with the FDA today — one citizen petition and one food additive petition — both argue that FDA’s current animal drug review process is insufficient to protect public health, and that the agency is required by law to review GMO salmon under what should be a more rigorous food additive review process. As a food additive, GMO salmon would be presumed unsafe unless it undergoes comprehensive toxicological studies to ensure that it is safe to

Feeding the World – Without GMOs

April 2, 2015

‘The fact is, there are strategies that take advantage of what we already know about using resources more efficiently that have the proven potential to double food supplies while at the same time reducing agriculture’s burden on the environment.’ (Image:naturalsociety.com) EWG released a new analysis on Tuesday  debunking the myth that genetically engineered crops (often called GMOs) will be crucial to “feeding the world” as the population soars. My report takes a hard look at recent research and concludes that so far, GE crops have done nothing to improve global food security – and there’s little reason to think that they will any time soon. The chief causes of global hunger today are poverty and small farmers’ lack of access to basic resources such as fertilizers and roads to market. So why do Big Ag and biotech companies keep insisting that the solution to meeting the demand for food is investment in their genetically engineered seeds? The fact is, there are strategies that take advantage of what we already know about using resources more efficiently that have the proven potential to double food supplies while at the same time reducing agriculture’s burden on the environment. Read

What Will the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Endorse Next? Candy?

April 1, 2015

The AND seems to be proving its own lack of credibility by endorsing Kraft Singles—and then claiming it’s not actually an endorsement. State-based Action Alerts! Last week, the New York Times reported [1] that Kraft Singles—the individually wrapped slices of “cheese product” popular in school lunches—were the first product to boast the AND’s new “Kids Eat Right” label. The label is part of a wider AND initiative [2] to promote children’s health, because the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics knows that “kids need a quality diet of the right foods to optimize their growth and development and to maintain a healthy weight.” It would appear that Kraft Singles are part of that “quality diet.”  The AND’s website explains, “Our expertise is the reason we must become more involved to improve the lives of generations to come.” The AND claims [3] it is not promoting Kraft Singles, but merely increasing the visibility of their Kids Eat Right campaign by partnering with Kraft, which has given the AND an undisclosed sum of money. But everyone, including registered dieticians (RDs) who are members of the AND, sees this for what it is: an implied endorsement. If your mind is reeling from the glaring disconnect between statements like “improving the lives of generations to come”
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